The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers

Vladimir Putin

(Interviewed April 15, 2014)

H:          Mr. Putin.

VP:          … You are …

H:          I know. I’m a talking dog. I know.

VP:          I was saying mongrel.

H:          Mongrel? I’m a dog, not a mongrel.

VP:          Mutt, then. You are mutt.

H:          I’m a beagle. A pure bred. My bloodlines go all the way to Essex. Essex!

VP:          I am not come to America to speak to… to… filthy mutt.

H:          Hey. I’ll have you know I had a bath just last week. I almost died. I was lucky to escape.

VP:          Is too bad.

H:          I know, right? Wait… why is it too bad?

VP:          Too bad you did not die.

H:          Come on, man. A talking dog! That’s got to put just a little smile on your face.

VP:          I am no smiling. Is weak to smile. Is weakness.

H:          You’re still chapped over the Olympics, aren’t you?

VP:          Olympics was great Russian victory. We are winning most medals.

H:          Yeah, but…

VP:          But what? But nothing. Is great victory.

H:          Well… there was that… mistake. 

VP:          No mistake.

H:          Yeah. Yeah. There was a mistake. In the opening ceremonies. Not good. The whole planet was like, what happened to the fifth ring? Bejing had five rings. Vancouver had five rings. London had five rings. Sochi… four rings and a… a little dot. What the hell was that? A dot? Not good, Vlad.

VP:          Vladimir.

H:          Sorry. And then there was the hockey debacle. I thought you were supposed to win that one. All the hype.

VP:          There is cheating. Americans are cheating mongrels.

H:          Again with the mongrels. Is that why you made a power grab for Crimea? Because you lost the stupid hockey game? You’re trying to prove something, aren’t you? You have to be honest. I may be a dog, but this is still an interview.

VP:          I am not here for… in-ter-view. Am here for drink. Am having Stolichnaya. Am not asking please to mangy cur.

H:          First, I’m not a cur, I’m a beagle. Second, I don’t have mange. Third, what makes you think I have Stoli?

VP:          Is saying Bar on door.

H:          No, it’s saying Barn on the door. I had to temporarily relocate the studio. Health regulations. Big government. Blah, blah. Point is, I don’t have any vodka.

VP:          Is number one drink in Russia. Is best drink in world. Is like water.

H:          Well I’ve got water, which is also like water. Right there in the little red bowl. Help yourself.

VP:          Am not drinking on hands and knees like animal.

H:          Suit yourself. What gives with Crimea?

VP:          Nothing gives Crimea. No gives. I am taking Crimea.

H:          Yes, I can see that. Why? What gives you the right to just…

VP:          Is Russian.

H:          What, Crimea?

VP:          Yes. Crimea. Is Russian. Is part of Russia.

H:          Well it is now. You stole it from Ukraine.

VP:          No. Crimea comes back to Mother Russia like lost child. Is happy reunion. Everyone happy.

H:          You think Ukraine might just disagree with that assessment?

VP:          Ukraine is spoiled child. Like Russian baby with messy diaper. Ukraine needs spanking.

H:          So, is that why you have forty thousand heavily armed troops at the eastern Ukrainian border? Is that why Russia has been fomenting dissent and encouraging the pro-Russian separatists? Is that why you … what… uh, what are you doing?

VP:          Is too hot.

H:          You’re half naked. I can’t interview you without a shirt on. I’m a professional amateur journalist. I’d like some respect.

VP:          Am not respecting dogs. Am showing to be strong world leader. Am seeing myself on American television with no shirt many times. You are used to this.

H:          You’re doing this to throw me off my game. You’re trying to distract me from the real issues.

VP:          What … issues?

H:          Admit that Russia was behind the armed take-over of Kramatorsk.

VP:          Is not true. Ukraine uses Neo-Nazi forces to destabilize region and blame Russia. Is big trick on world.

H:          Neo-Nazis.

VP:          Yes.

H:          Ukraine is destabilizing itself with Neo-Nazis.

VP:          Yes.

H:          Ukraine is punching itself in the face to make Russia look bad.

VP:          As you say.

H:          You’re kidding.

VP:          Nyet. Is weak to be kidding.

H:          You expect the rest of the world… what… uh…

VP:          Is still too hot.

H:          Please put your pants on, sir. And do you not have underwear in Russia?

VP:          Is weak to wear underwear.

H:          Please. I’m begging you.

VP:          Yes, you are begging because you are weakling dog.

H:          No, I’m begging because I’m getting queasy. There’s no point to this.

VP:          Here is point. East man-nipple is Kiev. West man-nipple is Voronezh. Moscow is here, on tip of strong man-chin. Troops of Mother Russia exercise here, from mole in shape of Lenin to scar from bear claw. This down here … mutt… hey… you must look here…

H:          Nope. Not looking.

VP:          Look.

H:          No.

VP:          Weakling. Is Crimea down here between legs. Is all part of body Russia. Is all belonging to me. To Russia. That is point.

H:          And the Neo-Nazis that have taken over Kramatorsk at gun-point, are where exactly?

VP:          Yes. Here.

H:          So right around point bear claw, just south of east nipple.

VP:          Yes.

H:          Where do they come from, these Nazi’s?

VP:          They are sons of Ukraine.

H:          So you had absolutely nothing to do with the seizure of the police headquarters and putting roadblocks around Slaviansk?

VP:          Nyet.

H:          You promise? Cross your heart and hope to die?

VP:          Nyet. Is weak to hope to die and cross heart. Is homosexual thing to be doing. Is senseless drama crossing heart.

H:          You like figure skating. Lot’s of gay men in figure skating.

VP:          Not on Russia team. Besides, I am liking hockey. Not figure skating.

H:          Oh, come on. We all saw you watching Evgeni Plushenko doing his warm up. You can admit it.

VP:          Nyet. He is weak to drop out of competition. Is traitor.

H:          Traitor? He was seriously injured. You can’t expect the man to compete when…

VP:          We are forcing him to compete in South Korea. Is his duty.

H:          You can’t just force him to compete. I thought he was retiring.

VP:          Nyet. Is acting weak. Like homosexual.

H:          You know, there is a theory out there on the Internet that you hate gay men just a little too much?

VP:          Nonsense. Am virile man. Am wanting horse.

H:          All right, well that’s just disgusting.

VP:          To ride! Idiot mutt. To ride!

H:          What, you mean now? I don’t have a horse.

VP:          Am wanting to ride horse and drink Stolichnaya.

H:          Without any clothes on.

VP:          Yes.

H:          Kind of a Pale Rider meets Vladimir Godiva scene.

VP:          Yes.

H:          With your little dangling Crimean Peninsula thing, there…

VP:          Is no little. Is gigantic.

H:          Whatever. Ukraine wants it back.

VP:          Nyet.

H:          You know, President Putin, with all due respect, it’s not weak to acknowledge that you have acted badly and to apologize to the world for stealing Crimea and trying to pick a fight with Ukraine just to reignite the Cold War.

VP:          Yes. Is weak.

H:          Let me try it this way. Remember the giant Russian bear at the Olympics? Remember him skating out and shedding that big glistening tear at the Closing Ceremonies, in front of the whole world, surrounded by the children of all other nations?

VP:          I am remembering this. Yes.

H:          Did you think that was weak?

VP:          Nyet. Russian bear is no weak. Is national symbol of Mother Russia.

H:          Right. See?

VP:          Tears of joy are no weak.

H:          Joy? I don’t…

VP:          So many children to eat. So easy. Skating all around him… this way… and that way. So easy. So happy. So happy.

H:          Okay, take your stubby little peninsula and get the hell out.

VP:          Why is no horse in barn?

H:          Out.

VP:          Wait, first one minute… Please. I am saying please to dog.

H:          Fine. What.

VP:          If we are here at east man-nipple, where is nearest American news concubine? Oh… you are baring teeth? Wait… no…  am telling United Nations. Okay! Am leaving! Am leaving! Help!


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